Today we’re featuring our friend Daisy Rain Martin who we first introduced you to here. Not only is she a great personal friend I love, learn from, and laugh my head off with, but she’s a woman on a mission–a very important one. She’s a Hope Giver and I’ll let her tell you about it here.
Salt Lick Lessons (SLL): Tell us about the important and exciting work you do.
Daisy Rain Martin (DRM): Underneath the Rainy Dais LLC umbrella, there are a few endeavors I have that keep me plenty busy:
First, I am an author of books. My comedic, spiritual memoir, Juxtaposed: Finding Sanctuary on the Outside, was initially rejected by my publisher. I told him he’d lost his mind and shopped it around to other publishers. Eventually, after keeping in contact with him for a few months, he asked for the entire manuscript and wrote on my Facebook page, “I love this book.”
That was when I knew my little book would have a life. Not only did that little book have a life, it became Christopher Matthews Publishing’s #1 bestselling book for 2012.
My second book is actually free – no strings attached. It was a labor of love and is available on my website. It is called, If It’s Happened to You, and I’ve had people say it’s the most important piece I’ve ever written because it is a step-by-step guide for anyone who has ever been or is currently being abused. I encourage people to share it with anyone they know who might need it, and I literally have no idea how many people have been touched by.
I’m currently working on my third book, Hope Givers: Hope is Here, which is due out sometime in 2015. This book almost didn’t happen – I put it down for more than a year and began my own journey to learn about hope. Now I’m back in the saddle, and I’m hoping to have it finished soon.
In addition to writing books, I am editor in chief of RAIN Magazine, an online publication that is picking up more and more subscribers with each issue. It is a platform for new, up-and-coming writers – a platform that we all build together by selling subscriptions to our own sphere of influence. I can sell a certain number of magazines to my friends and family, but when I join with other writers who are also seeking to increase the size of their fan base and grow their platforms, our collective efforts provide a much bigger audience that we can all share. I’m thrilled to see what we can accomplish in 2015!
Throw in some editing jobs, speaking gigs, and philanthropy work, and I’m one busy girl. I just think that we have one life to live – we can rest when this life is over! Now is the time to live your best life, whatever that means for you. For me, that means creating and taking each project to the next level.
I would be remiss if I did not give a huge nod to my writing group, the Flying M-Inklings. You want to talk about talent? This team of people is brilliant, and I am proud to call them mine! It is the joy of my life to be theirs. We are certainly greater than the sum of our parts! I am convinced that all of us will be published in time, and I can’t wait to see how we continue to evolve and how each of our individual projects touch the world.
DRM: Anna Nalick sang, “It’s 2:00 AM and I’m sitting here writing this song. If I get it all down on paper it’s no longer inside of me threatening the life it belongs to.”
Words to live by. I consider each of my books and every issue of my magazine my “children”. I call the guy who does my website my website’s “baby daddy”.
What we create, I believe, are living entities who bring joy or sorrow; they challenge us, admonish us, inspire us. This is no small feat. This is life. This is “the stuff”. To have a hand in creation is an honor and it fulfills our purpose on this earth. Having discovered that is one of the great epiphanies of my time here.
SLL: What are the biggest challenges you face?
DRM: I never have enough time. Ideas? I got plenty. Time? Not so much. I teach 7th grade English and Literature September through May (which I call the “off season” from my writing career, although I juggle both careers all the time.) Like all the other A-Type personalities out there, I feel like I’m pulled in many different directions at any given time. But I love it. I wouldn’t live my life any other way.
Another challenge is motivating people to be actively engaged in making this world a better place to live. I don’t care what they do to make that happen as long as they’re doing something. To me, people can’t just do nothing. People can’t just not contribute to the world. My message is for people to be Hope Givers in some capacity. To simply take from this world and not contribute is not negotiable to me.
I’m probably a little bossy if you want to know the truth, but I refuse to participate in our “Culture of Passivity” as I’ve named it, and I am pretty insistent that others step up, stand up, and do their part. I’m looking for contenders out there. I’m looking for Hope Givers. Everyone else? Step aside – there’s work to be done.
DRM: The Rainy Dais Community has chosen three charities to pour extravagant amounts of hope into as well as some serious cash:
- City Impact Center of Las Vegas – You name the need – these people fill it: they feed the homeless, have a food bank, provide medical care for children 0-18 and for adults who have no insurance; they provide low income senior housing and a preschool for neighborhood children; they have after school programs for inner city kids, help adults get their GEDs, and they have a charter school for kids who are at risk of dropping out.
- Treasures of Africa Children’s Home in Moshi, Tanzania – The Rainy Dais Community has gone global in our philanthropic efforts: we help raise money just in time for the Christmas holidays for an AIDS orphanage in Africa.
- Advocates Against Family Violence in Caldwell, Idaho, was founded in October 2002 with the specific intent of filling the gaps in services that many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault often face.
This is one of the main reasons I created RAIN Magazine – to raise money for these charities. I put out three issues of RAIN every year: spring, summer, and fall. One dollar from every issue sold each season goes to support one of these charities. So, not only is our fan base supporting new writers who are trying to be recognized, they are also tangibly helping to make this world safer and better for those who very much need it.
By myself I couldn’t do this. You or I alone could not bring about these remarkable accomplishments. But together, we can. I have a talent: writing. You have a talent. And whatever it is, I know you’re fabulous at it! Use it to bring love and hope to this world and bring others along who have their own unique talents to share. Let nothing be wasted! Let no one be left out!
SLL: How did you know you had found something that you were going to do for a long time?
DRM: I think I figured it out when I was compelled to write whether I made money on it or not. If I never make another dime off of another book or speaking gig, I will continue to write. I am a writer. It’s who I am. I can’t not write – and that’s not even a very good sentence, but I wrote it anyway. You know why? It’s what I do.
I just had a story to tell. It burned in me. Even if the only people who ever read it were my children and their children and their children, I would have been happy. If no one in my lineage picked up my book, I would still have been happy. Singers sing. Teachers teach. Writers write. It’s not that I found something I was going to do. It was something I was going to be. And I am.
SLL: How do you stay motivated to keep working and challenging yourself?
DRM: It’s crazy. I’ve got ideas that could sustain my efforts into the next decade. These are written down every year when my husband and I sit down (in January) to have our annual “Meeting of the Minds”. This is where we write down all of our accomplishments for the previous year and our goals for the upcoming year. Like I said, it is very important to write these thoughts down on paper. Ideas become things – it’s true!
I remember when Juxtaposed was just an idea, and If It’s Happened to You. Now Hope Givers is becoming a reality with each new day and each new chapter. RAIN Magazine wasn’t even in existence one year ago. Today, it’s a publication that is growing and contributing to this world.
Don’t underestimate the power of your thoughts and ideas. And write them down every time. Will you do them all? Probably not. Think tanks are safe places to throw out any and every idea. Take the ones you want and make them into a reality. Figure out a way to put legs on your dreams. You can make it happen.
SLL: How do you stay creative?
DRM: This is crazy in light of the fact that I have just recovered from some pretty serious writer’s block. The first practical thing that I have done is I’ve stopped lying to myself that when I come across a great idea for a writing piece that I will remember it. I won’t. So, I’ve started writing everything down. I will literally stop whatever I’m doing and get my mini-spiral out and write down my ideas. It has become a great resource when I think I don’t have a thing to write about. I can browse through it and suddenly write for days.
I also can’t write if I’m in a bad mood or pissed off or flummoxed about anything. Or I can write in those times, but it all just seems bitter. Blech. I’m not about it. At the end of the day, I’m exactly like everyone else in that the BS of life can get to me. Sometimes it sucks the life out and drains the creativity.
Call me crazy, but black gospel music is a balm that soothes – at least for me. I don’t know what your balm is, but I highly suggest you get one, preferably not controlled substances or the like. Those tend to be counterproductive.
The other crazy thing is, my house has to be clean. I know, I’m a weirdo. But if there are dishes in my sink, I can’t write. I have to have my house in order or go to the coffee shop to write with a clear mind. If my house needs attention, then I feel like I can’t produce quality work. Luckily, I’m an early riser, and I can knock out any chores that need to be done and then sit down to write. Even better is when I get everything done before I go to bed the night before because it’s easier for me to get in “the writing zone” in the morning hours. I’m also lucky that I married a Dane. The Danish people are a clean people, and my husband is wonderful when it comes to keeping the house clean, God love his heart. I am blessed.
SLL: Where do your ideas come from?
DRM: Everywhere. Nowhere. My brain. My rear end. Who knows? All I know is that ideas are everywhere if only you will take a moment, step out of the momentum of your busy day, and pay attention. Then you have to write it down! Trust me, you will not simply remember something just because you thought it was brilliant for five seconds. Not only that, every time you think you have an original idea that is truly golden – just know that 8,000 people got up this morning and have already thought of it. And they all live on the east coast, so for me, that means that they’ve got at least a three-hour head start, so I’d better get busy.
SLL: What’s your next big thing?
DRM: Aside from finishing Hope Givers and getting it published in 2015, I am about to launch a campaign to sell as many subscriptions for RAIN Magazine as I can for 2015. As I said, those who buy a year’s subscription to RAIN will get three issues written by fantastic writers AND they will be supporting three very worthy charities who are so appreciative for our support. I’m also looking for new writers who would be willing to help build our platform and contribute an article or two for RAIN Magazine next year.
SLL: How can people find, follow, and support you?
DRM: My website is www.daisyrainmartin.com. Look me up. Contact me. Friend me on Facebook and Twitter. I love hearing from my fans and, although it’s hard to respond to everyone who contacts me every time, I do try to send a personal note to everyone who does. The Rainy Dais Community is growing faster and bigger all the time with those who are ready to help the world in their own way with their own unique gifts and talents, and I welcome them all.
Thank you for reading and getting to know Daisy and the good work she does. Feel free to leave comments or questions for Daisy here or on her site.